Distracting questions

Discussion in 'New Teachers Archives' started by fifthmonkee, Sep 22, 2006.

  1. fifthmonkee

    fifthmonkee Rookie

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    Sep 22, 2006

    How do I deal with students (ninth and tenth graders) who (continually) ask questions (often personal) that are meant either to a. distract me or b. be "funny?"

    If it was just once in a while it would be okay, but some won't stop.

    Examples:
    Where did you get that soda? how much did it cost? Do you like Pepsi One (maybe I shouldn't bring drinks in class?)

    What kind of tie is that? How much did it cost? What kind of car do you drive?

    Sometimes they relate to the subject under discussion but are not serious questions. We're reading a story that takes place in Turkey. "Do you like eating turkey?"

    And sometimes they are total non-sequitors. We're reading a passage aloud, perhaps, and someone will ask "can I open/close a window?" "What do you think of the Iraq War?"

    In the end, I find myself saying something to the effect of "no more questions!" But that doesn't seem very pedagogically sound. If I say, "serious questions only" it only evinces more joke questions with the defense "but I am serious."

    Please advise!

    P.S. I understand these questions may reflect some boredom on the part of some students, but I know some of it is resistance too, and, frankly, I'm not talented or smart enough to entertain every single student every minute of the day.
     
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  3. ddb23

    ddb23 Companion

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    Sep 22, 2006

    I treat any off subject questions as class distruptions and follow my consequences for that.

    This is for 7th graders, so by the time they are in the 9th grade, they know better.

    db
     
  4. fifthmonkee

    fifthmonkee Rookie

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    Sep 22, 2006

    What sort of consequences?


     
  5. ddb23

    ddb23 Companion

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    Sep 22, 2006

    disrupt class once = warning

    twice = detention

    three times = conference + detention

    four = detention + conference + referra


    I just follow my discipline policy. To me, off subject is the same as talking out loud or being disruptive. it stops the class


    dave b
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 22, 2006

    "John, I expect you to meet me in this room this afternoon after school, when we'll discuss the answer to that question. Failure to report will mean a detention. Now, back to what I was saying..."
     
  7. falcons88

    falcons88 Rookie

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    Sep 23, 2006

    Sometimes if the class is at the end I might entertain a question or two. But you have every right to not discuss personal things. Now some things are not to relate to students (sports and music work well) but you can say, "That is not an appropriate question at this time." And then continue. I agree with the other poster about the discipline. But be careful. You need to be consistant with it
     
  8. wunderwhy

    wunderwhy Comrade

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    Sep 23, 2006

    Hee hee.

    I usually try not to respond verbally to attempts to distract me or turn the lesson into a conversation. I'd probably just give the student a look that says, "Did you really just ask me a stupid question while I was in the middle of teaching?" and move on. I find that when you respond verbally, the student will continue to respond to everything you say, which worst case scenario will escalate into you telling the student to be quiet ("I mean it!") and the student getting a kick out of continuing to ask why or make comments. It's a waste of time. Don't even go down that road.

    I've got a few smart aleck boys in honors English who are very immature. I find that they try to do the things you've described. Yesterday I had to answer a request for water during a lesson with, "No. I'm tired of being asked questions at obviously inconvenient times just to get class of track. So the answer is a dash goes here . . . " I also got a jab in at those particular students when a girl asked why they couldn't grade each others' quizzes. I told her that there were three different answer keys, so it would be very confusing. She said that they would be able to do it, so I said, "Look around the room. Come on . . . you know a few people would go, 'WHAT??? WHAT WAS IT??? I MISSED IT!!! WAS IT B???'" She said I was right and shot the obnoxious boy a dirty look. Hee hee.
     

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